Farmingdale H.S. mourns loss of 2 members of school community following bus crash in Orange County

Officials have identified the two adults killed in the crash as Gina Pellettire, 43 of Massapequa, and Beatrice Ferrari, 77 of Farmingdale.

News 12 Staff

Sep 22, 2023, 10:20 AM

Updated 297 days ago

Share:

Two people were killed and at least five students were critically injured following a crash involving a bus filled with band members from Farmingdale High School on Thursday.
Officials say the bus careened off the road and tumbled 50 feet down an embankment on I-84 in Hudson Valley around 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
The Farmingdale Union Free School District says the bus was one of six buses that were en route to band camp in Pennsylvania when the crash occurred.
Officials have identified the two adults killed in the crash as Gina Pellettire, 43 of Massapequa, and Beatrice Ferrari, 77 of Farmingdale.
Pellettire was Farmingdale High School’s band director and Ferrari was a teacher at the school for more than 26 years.
Pellettire was affectionately called “Miss P” by marching band members.
One parent says Miss P inspired her son to be a teacher.
“That’s a huge influence, and it’s not just my son – there’s so many children whose lives she touched in the community,” says Susan Perna.
Ferrari was known as the grandmother of the band. She retired but still served as a chaperone on trips.
Her family was too distraught to talk on camera but say Ferrari loved her students and always encouraged them to do their best.
“She was an angel here on Earth, she had a heart of gold, not only for her, but those around her,” said Linda Leone, a friend of Ferrari’s.
Further coverage:
Victims hurt in the crash were taken to Westchester Medical Center, the sole Level One Trauma Center in the Hudson Valley.
Originally, three students with critical injuries were taken to the facility - one of six hospitals in the region attending to crash victims. Hospital officials now say 12 people are at the center, and the majority of victims are at the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital.
The Farmingdale mayor says one girl who is a junior firefighter was airlifted to Cohen Children's Medical Center late Thursday from Westchester Medical Center. Another junior firefighter, who is a boy, was released from Westchester Medical Center this morning - he had severe lacerations.
VIDEO: Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman gives an update on bus crash
The NTSB has a team at the scene to investigate the crash.
Farmingdale High School students, including members of the marching band, lit candles at a vigil Friday evening. They hugged and cried, still in shock over their band director and chaperone.
"It just shows how much they were loved and how much they loved their teachers," says Rose Golding, of Farmingdale. "It's a family - a family."
Dozens of the students' peers were injured, including four who are still listed in critical condition.
The district says counselors were being made available inside the school. Farmingdale school officials say they will also have counseling available for students and staff this weekend.
The other five buses that were also headed to camp returned to Farmingdale High School on Thursday night following the crash.
A statement from Farmingdale School District Superintendent Paul Defendini said, “I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support in the wake of this tragic incident. Daler Strong is alive and well right now, and we are working together to support our students and staff as we take the time to heal. The school district will be establishing a crisis center and Howitt Middle School this weekend for any staff, student, or community member who might need support.”


More from News 12
1:51
HEAT ALERT: Heat advisory continues through Wednesday, evening pop-up storms likely in the Hudson Valley

HEAT ALERT: Heat advisory continues through Wednesday, evening pop-up storms likely in the Hudson Valley

0:39
Lightning strikes tree in Yorktown Heights, causes house fire

Lightning strikes tree in Yorktown Heights, causes house fire

7:10
Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate

Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate

1:54
Medical professionals in the Hudson Valley discuss how to stay safe in the heat

Medical professionals in the Hudson Valley discuss how to stay safe in the heat

1:36
43 sick cats rescued from scorching hot van in Newburgh

43 sick cats rescued from scorching hot van in Newburgh

1:35
Port Jervis summer camp program on pause due to extreme heat

Port Jervis summer camp program on pause due to extreme heat

1:42
Firefighters battle blaze in extreme heat in Verplanck

Firefighters battle blaze in extreme heat in Verplanck

1:48
Meals on Wheels of Rockland keeps seniors fed and cool during hot summer

Meals on Wheels of Rockland keeps seniors fed and cool during hot summer

1:52
Popular high-powered rifle used in Trump rally shooting

Popular high-powered rifle used in Trump rally shooting

1:35
Families flock to Tibbetts Brook Park in Yonkers to stay cool

Families flock to Tibbetts Brook Park in Yonkers to stay cool

Heat Alert: Energy companies urge conservation as temperatures soar

Heat Alert: Energy companies urge conservation as temperatures soar

0:43
MTA outlines plan to keep riders cool during intense heat and humidity

MTA outlines plan to keep riders cool during intense heat and humidity

2:58
INTERVIEWS: Local Hudson Valley leaders discuss assassination attempt of former President Trump

INTERVIEWS: Local Hudson Valley leaders discuss assassination attempt of former President Trump

2:14
Don't be caught in the dark: Are you ready to power through hurricane season?

Don't be caught in the dark: Are you ready to power through hurricane season?

3:30
Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

5:30
In prime-time address, Biden warns of election-year rhetoric, saying ‘it’s time to cool it down’

In prime-time address, Biden warns of election-year rhetoric, saying ‘it’s time to cool it down’

1:40
Chappaqua reacts to assassination attempt on former President Trump

Chappaqua reacts to assassination attempt on former President Trump

1:54
Reps. Lawler, Torres to introduce bill enhancing Secret Service protection for presidential candidates

Reps. Lawler, Torres to introduce bill enhancing Secret Service protection for presidential candidates

2:07
A look back at US political violence that changed history

A look back at US political violence that changed history

2:31
Pace professor weighs political rhetoric, gun control in wake of Trump rally shooting

Pace professor weighs political rhetoric, gun control in wake of Trump rally shooting